Calcification can affect many joints in our body, including the foot and ankle. There are 28 bones in the foot and more than 30 joints between them. The ankle joint, the joints made by the bones of the back of the foot with each other, the joint made by the metatarsal bones with the ankle bones and the big toe joint are the places where calcification is most common. 17% of people over the age of 50 have foot calcification. If foot calcification symptoms are paid attention and detected early, it can be prevented from progressing by taking precautions.
What Causes Foot Calcification?
Calcification is a problem associated with joint wear. It is also referred to by names such as degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. The cartilage layer that protects the bones wears away, becomes thinner, and may eventually be completely lost. The foot is prone to calcification as it is a moving limb that is constantly exposed to load. Ankle injuries, sprains and fractures can lead to calcification years later. Deformities such as flat feet or higher arches than normal are also risk factors for foot calcification.
What are the Symptoms of Foot Calcification?
Pain and stiffness in the foot, swelling-edema in the affected joint, restriction of movements compared to normal range of motion, and deformity in the bones are the symptoms of calcification. Complaints increase as the weight is placed on the foot, and walking becomes difficult. However, these complaints can also be seen in rheumatic diseases that cause joint inflammation. For this reason, if you suspect foot calcification, it would be beneficial to consult a physical therapy and rehabilitation doctor.
In order to understand the cause of your complaints, the doctor may ask you when the pain started, whether it is constant or intermittent, whether your foot has been sprained or broken in the past, how much your complaints change with walking and rest, whether there is a complaint in one foot or both, and other similar questions. . Then, by examining it, it detects areas that show sensitivity in the foot, looks at the flexibility of the joints, whether there is edema or deformity, and evaluates your gait. X-ray, tomography or MRI may be required.
Foot Calcification Treatment
Non-surgical treatments are primarily preferred in foot calcification. Once calcification has occurred, it is not possible to reverse it. Treatments are aimed at preventing its progression and relieving complaints. Pain relievers, specially produced insoles or shoe modifications that adapt to the shape of the foot, the use of orthoses that support the joint, special exercises and physical therapy methods can be applied. Electrotherapy, superficial and deep heating treatments can be applied in physical therapy. The aim of physical therapy in foot calcification is to relieve pain, reduce edema, if any, bring joint movements to normal levels, and increase the flexibility and strength of the muscles. In some cases, cortisone injections, needles containing hyaluronic acid, PRP in foot calcification-Stem cell applications can also be made. Food supplement tablets containing glycosaminoglycans may be recommended.
In advanced stage calcifications, if the person suffers from severe pain and has difficulty in walking despite all these methods, surgery may be considered. Surgery such as joint freezing or joint replacement may be beneficial depending on the condition of the disease.